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20121202
20121210
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recovering from devastation caused by superstorm sandy. >> i think the most likely explanation here is sandy's impact was significant but was so short-lived that it didn't extend to the sample period of the employment report which was the week that covered november 12. >> reporter: hiring was also supposed to be weak due to worries about the fiscal cliff. with $600 billion in automatic tax hikes and government spending cuts set to start next yer, why aren't more firms postponing hiring decisions? >> what we're hearing from businesses is that it is really hard to actually pull back hiring right now, because they've already fired so many workers, gotten so lean that it's really difficult. >> reporter: but not all the surprises in the report were good. at 7.7%, the unemployment rate hit its lowest level since december 2008. but that was mostly due to people giving up their search for work. and there's another disappointing trend, weak wage growth. >> what we are not seeing is strong income generation. the slowing in wage gains-- the weak bargaining power of labor comes across in this report and
's largest oil producer by 2020. here's one good thing to come from the destruction of hurricane sandy-- verizon customers will be getting faster, and more, telecom services. the company said today it is replacing damaged copper wires with fiber optic cable. that upgrade from older, slower copper allows verizon to offer more digital services, including bundling phone, internet and cable tv. and it means an increase in revenues for verizon. tom, that was the message from verizon's c.e.o., speaking at an investor conference today. but it didn't do much for the stock. verizon shares fell, like many of its fellow dow components trading here on the big board. >> tom: let's get going with tonight's "mark focus." with no big economic data for cues, stocks finished a lackluster day in negative territory. the s&p 500 struggled to find a clear direction and spent most of the session in the red. it ended with a small loss of two tenths of 1%. trading volume continued to be moderate-- 674 million shares on the big board; under 1.8 billion shares traded on the nasdaq. we saw small sector moves, as
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